|Publication number||US8077154 B2|
|Application number||US 11/838,061|
|Publication date||Dec 13, 2011|
|Filing date||Aug 13, 2007|
|Priority date||Aug 13, 2007|
|Also published as||US20090046072, WO2009023440A1|
|Publication number||11838061, 838061, US 8077154 B2, US 8077154B2, US-B2-8077154, US8077154 B2, US8077154B2|
|Inventors||David M. Emig, Ken K. Foo|
|Original Assignee||Motorola Mobility, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (114), Non-Patent Citations (21), Referenced by (38), Classifications (6), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Technical Field
This invention relates generally to capacitive sensors for electronic devices, and more specifically to a device having visible printing adjacent to capacitive sensing devices, where the visible printing does not interfere with the electrical operation of the sensing devices.
2. Background Art
Electronic devices are continually becoming more advanced. The devices are becoming smaller, memories are becoming larger, more features are being added, and processing power is increasing. Some electronic devices today, including personal digital assistants and mobile telephones, have the processing power of a computer, yet still fit easily into a shirt pocket.
One of the advances in electronic device technology involves the user interface. Traditional electronic devices generally included only keys or buttons for data entry. When a user wanted to enter a phone number, for example, the user pressed sequential buttons on the electronic device.
The advent of the touch sensitive display or user input transformed conventional user interface technology. With an electronic device having a touch sensitive surface, rather than pressing keys or buttons, the user is able to interact with the device and enter data by simply placing a finger on a surface of the device. Sometimes the surface will coincide with a device display, thereby transforming a display into a touch sensitive display or screen. Touch sensitive user input devices often simplify the overall appearance of the device as a simple touch sensitive display can eliminate the need for a tethered full keyboard, as the same can sometimes be reproduced as needed in conjunction with the touch sensitive screen.
There are many different touch sensitive technologies. In capacitive sensing technologies, capacitive touch sensors detect the presence of an object, such as a finger or stylus, by determining a changing current flow at the contact point. Exemplary capacitive sensors are taught in, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,071,691, 4,129,747, 4,198,539, 4,293,734, 4,302,011, 4,371,746, and 4,430,917.
One problem associated with capacitive sensing technologies involves electrical interference. For a capacitive sensor to function properly, an electrical field must be allowed to propagate from one capacitive sensor outside the device and back to another sensor. Any material that interferes with this electrical field can compromise reliability. For example, if the capacitive sensor is placed beneath a protective cover layer having vacuum-metalized printing, the metal in the printing can function as a shield, thereby interfering with the resulting electrical field and inhibiting the operation of the capacitive sensor.
This is a problem because device manufacturers often like to include printing somewhere on the surface of the device. Such printing may indicate to the user the model or manufacturer of the device. Such printing may also include instructions on using the device. Without such printing, the user's ability to operate the device may be slowed or inhibited.
There is thus a need for a method of creating visible printing in an electronic device employing a capacitive sensor, where the printing does not interfere with the electrical operation of the capacitive sensor.
Skilled artisans will appreciate that elements in the figures are illustrated for simplicity and clarity and have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements in the figures may be exaggerated relative to other elements to help to improve understanding of embodiments of the present invention.
Before describing in detail embodiments that are in accordance with the present invention, it should be observed that the embodiments reside primarily in combinations of method steps and apparatus components related printing a non-electrically interfering graphic, visible to a user, for use in conjunction with a capacitive sensor or proximity detector. Accordingly, the apparatus components and method steps have been represented where appropriate by conventional symbols in the drawings, showing only those specific details that are pertinent to understanding the embodiments of the present invention so as not to obscure the disclosure with details that will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of the description herein.
Embodiments of the invention are now described in detail. Referring to the drawings, like numbers indicate like parts throughout the views. As used in the description herein and throughout the claims, the following terms take the meanings explicitly associated herein, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise: the meaning of “a,” “an,” and “the” includes plural reference, the meaning of “in” includes “in” and “on.” Relational terms such as first and second, top and bottom, and the like may be used solely to distinguish one entity or action from another entity or action without necessarily requiring or implying any actual such relationship or order between such entities or actions. Also, reference designators shown herein in parenthesis indicate components shown in a figure other than the one in discussion. For example, talking about a device (10) while discussing figure A would refer to an element, 10, shown in figure other than figure A.
Briefly, embodiments of the present invention relate to a capacitive sensor for an electronic device that is configured to present selected graphics to a user. The graphics may include symbols, brand marks, logos, and other information, and are visible to a user when looking at the user interface of the electronic device.
In one embodiment, the electronic device includes a “morphing” interface where user actuation targets are selectively hidden and revealed as the active mode of the device changes. Commonly assigned, co-pending U.S. patent applications, application Ser. Nos. 11/684,454 and 11/679,228, teach an electronic device having a morphing display capable of hiding and revealing various keypad interfaces. The keypad interfaces each comprise a plurality of user actuation targets. In some embodiments, the keypad configurations are associated with a particular mode of operation of the device.
One embodiment of the present invention includes a capacitive sensor having a substrate that is configured to transmit light. Examples of such substrates include at least semi-transparent plastic or glass. Disposed upon the substrate is a layer of capacitive sensor material that is electrically conductive and is also configured to transmit light. In selective areas, arranged as a graphic, a layer of electrically conductive material is disposed on the capacitive sensor material. As the electrically conductive material is electrically coupled to the capacitive sensor material, the electrically conductive material does not electrically interfere with the operation of the capacitive sensor. The electrically conductive material has a reflectivity that is greater than that of the capacitive sensor material, and thus reflects light back to the user. The user perceives this as visible printing on the user interface.
Turning now to
The layer of capacitive sensor material is electrically conductive, and, in one embodiment, is pellucid. The layer of capacitive sensor material is arranged, as shown in
Turning now to
Deposited upon the layer of capacitive sensor material 201 (although it could also be deposited beneath the layer of capacitive sensor material 201) is a layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202. The layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202 may be selectively deposited so as to be arranged as a graphic. This graphic can be a symbol, an alphanumeric character or text, a key or user actuation target, a navigation device, a brand mark, a logo, an identifier, an artistic rendering, or other pattern.
The layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202 is electrically coupled to the layer of capacitive sensor material 201. In one embodiment, the layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202 has a greater reflectivity than does the layer of capacitive sensor material 201. In one embodiment, the reflectivity of the layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202 is at least twice that of the layer of capacitive sensor material 201. While both may be pellucid, more light passes through the layer of capacitive sensor material 201 than the layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202. Thus, more light is reflected from the layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202 than from the layer of capacitive sensor material 201. By arranging the layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202 as at least one graphic, this layer serves as “printing” in that the user can see the graphic due to the difference in reflectivity.
In another embodiment, the layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202 has a reflectivity that the same or less than the layer of capacitive sensor material. However, the combined material formed by the two layers has a reflectivity that is greater than that of the capacitive sensor material by itself. For example if both layers have 10% reflectance, neglecting absorption or reflection from other layers, the layer of capacitive sensor material 201 will exhibit a 10% reflection, while the combination layer areas will exhibit about 10%+(0.90)10%=19% reflection.
In one embodiment, both the layer of capacitive sensor material 201 and the layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202 are indium-tin oxide layers. The reflectivity of the indium-tin oxide used for the layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202 can be increased relative to that of the layer of capacitive sensor material 201 by altering the indium and tin concentrations. Specifically, oxygen can be removed, thereby increasing the proportions of indium and tin. This increase in indium and tin concentration has two effects: First, it reduces the characteristic impedance of the overall indium-tin oxide. Second, it makes the resulting indium-tin oxide less transparent or more reflective. As such, the metallic reflective properties of the resulting indium-tin oxide becomes more visible to a user. Thus, if the lower resistance (i.e., more reflective) indium-tin oxide is arranged geometrically as a desired graphical design, while the standard, higher resistance (i.e., less reflective) indium-tin oxide is patterned elsewhere, the visual effect of a graphical design having a metallic finish is achieved without introducing electrical interference to the capacitive sensor 200. Experimental testing has shown that indium-tin oxide having a characteristic impedance of around 300 Ohms is suitable for use as the layer of capacitive sensor material 201, while indium-tin oxide having a characteristic impedance of around 100 Ohms (or less) is suitable for use as the layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material.
In another embodiment, the layer of capacitive sensor material 201 and the layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202 may both be indium-tin oxide. The layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202 may be fashioned by selectively depositing layer upon layer of the same indium-tin oxide used as the layer of capacitive sensor material 201. By depositing multiple layers atop each other, the thickness of the indium-tin oxide increases, causing the characteristic impedance to go down and the reflectivity to increase
In yet another embodiment, metal, such as gold, tin, copper, nickel, or aluminum, may be used as the layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202. Where the layer of capacitive sensor material 201 is indium-tin oxide, the layer of metal will have a greater reflectivity as the layer of metal will generally be opaque. Further, the layer of metal, serving as a metallic conductor, will generally have an impedance of well less than 100 Ohms. This is generally more conductive than standard (highly transparent) indium-tin oxide. As such, the response time associated with the capacitive sensor 200 will decrease, corresponding to a reduced RC time constant, thereby resulting in a decrease in the time needed to charge or discharge the associated capacitance through the associated resistance.
While the layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202 is shown in
Further, the layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202 may be patterned in the shape of the desired graphical design on either side of the layer of capacitive sensor material 201. As the layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202 is in electrical contact with the layer of capacitive sensor material 201, the layers work together to transmit the electric field used for capacitive sensing, while producing a visible graphical design.
When incident light 203 hits the highly transparent layer of capacitive sensor material 201, only a small portion 205 of light is reflected, thereby rendering the layer of capacitive sensor material 201 largely invisible to a user. By contrast, when incident light 204 hits the layer of selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202, most of the light 206 will be reflected, thereby presenting the graphical design to a user.
Turning now to
Turning now to
The first material, deposited as the layer of capacitive sensor material 201, is arranged as a plurality of capacitive electrodes. The second material, applied as the selectively disposed electrically conductive material 202, is arranged as at least one graphic 401 that will be visible through a transparent cover layer of an electronic device. The graphic 401, shown illustratively as the letter “A” in
Turning now to
The user interface 500 includes the following components: a cover layer 502; a capacitive sensor 200; an optical shutter assembly 504; an electroluminescent device 505, a resistive switch layer 506; a substrate layer 507; and a tactile feedback layer 508. Additionally, a high-resolution display 509 and filler materials 510 may be included to complete the assembly. While the layers are shown individually, it will be clear to those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of this disclosure that some of the various layers may be combined together. For instance, the cover layer 502 and capacitive sensor 200 may be integrated together to form a single layer. Similarly, the tactile feedback layer 508 may be integrated into the cover layer 502, and so forth.
Starting from the top with the cover layer 502, a thin film sheet serves as a unitary fascia member for the electronic device. A “fascia” is a covering or housing, which may or may not be detachable, for an electronic device like a mobile telephone. While the drawings herein employ a mobile telephone as an exemplary electronic device for discussion, it will be clear to those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of this disclosure that the invention is not so limited. The fascia of the present invention could be used for any electronic device having a display and a keypad.
The cover layer 502, in one exemplary embodiment, is a thin, flexible membrane. Suitable materials for manufacturing the thin, flexible membrane include clear or translucent plastic film, such as 0.4 millimeter, clear polycarbonate film. In another embodiment, the cover layer 502 is manufactured from a thin sheet of reinforced glass. The cover layer, being continuous and without holes or other apertures or perforations, is well suited to serve as a continuous fascia for the electronic device, keeping dust, debris and liquids from invading the device.
Printing may be disposed on the rear face 511 of the cover layer 502. Even where the capacitive sensor 200 and its non-electrically interfering printing in accordance with the invention is used, some peripheral selective printing on the cover layer may still be desirable. For instance, printing may be desired around the perimeter of the cover layer 502 to cover electrical traces connecting the various layers. Such peripheral printing generally does not significantly affect the performance of the capacitive sensor 200.
Non-conductive printing may be desired on the front face 513 for various reasons as well. For example, a subtle textural printing or overlay printing may be desirable to provide a translucent matte finish atop the electronic device. Alternatively, mechanical finishing techniques may apply such a matte finish. Such a finish is useful to prevent cosmetic blemishing from sharp objects or fingerprints. The cover layer 502 may also include an ultra-violet barrier. Such a barrier is useful both in improving the visibility of the high-resolution display 509 and in protecting internal components of the electronic device.
The capacitive sensor 200 may be any of the capacitive sensor structures described herein. The capacitive sensor 200, which is formed by depositing small capacitive plate electrodes on a substrate, is configured to detect the presence of an object, such as a user's finger, near to or touching the user interface 500. Control circuitry, operating as a detector, detects a change in the capacitance of a particular plate combination on the capacitive sensor 200. The capacitive sensor 200 may be used in a general mode, for instance to detect the general proximate position of an object relative to the device. The capacitive sensor 200 may also be used in a specific mode, where a particular capacitor electrode pair may be detected to detect the location of an object along length and width of the front surface of the electronic device. In this mode, the capacitive sensor 200 may be used to detect the proximate position of an object, such as a user's finger, relative to any of the actuation targets presented.
Turning to the optical shutter assembly 504, this layer includes a segmented electro-optical device configured as an optical shutter. A “segmented” electro-optical display device is used herein to mean a display device with less granularity than the high-resolution display 509. A “high-resolution display” refers to a device that can present text and images to a user by altering a large number of pixels which, when viewed collectively by a user, form the presented text or image. The high-resolution display is a display suitable for the presentation of text, information, and graphics on a mobile device with sufficient granularity as to be easily switched between graphics or text. For example, the high-resolution display would be one suitable for presenting an image in the Joint Photographics Expert Group (JPG) format to the user. Such displays generally are configured to turn on and off individual pixels by way of a display driver for the presentation of high-resolution information. Examples include a 256 pixel by 128 pixel reflective or backlit LCD. Such display devices are manufactured by Samsung and Sony.
A segmented display, by contrast, is a display device with less granularity than the high-resolution device. The segmented display device is capable of actuating a predefined segment or segments to present a predetermined text or symbol graphic to a user, but does not have sufficient granularity to easily transition from, for example, text to graphics. The segmented display of the optical shutter assembly 504 uses electrodes placed atop and beneath the optical shutter assembly 504 to open and close “windows”, thereby transforming the window from a first, opaque state to a second, translucent state. The optical shutter assembly 504 is “segmented” because individual windows, or shutters, may be controlled. Further, by configuring the electrodes on at least one side of the optical shutter assembly 504, each shutter can be configured as the alphanumeric indicia, which may include numbers, letters, or symbols forming images representative of a plurality of actuatable keys.
The optical shutter assembly 504 is configured to present any of a plurality of keypad configurations to a user. Each keypad configuration, in one embodiment, corresponds to a particular mode of operation of the electronic device. For example, a music player mode may correspond to a first keypad configuration, while a phone mode may correspond to an alternate configuration. The optical shutter assembly 504 presents each of the plurality of keypad configurations by transitioning segments of the optical shutter assembly 504 from opaque states to translucent states. When translucent, light can pass through each shutter. When opaque, light is absorbed. The result is a reveal and concealment of each individual key. Each key forms an actuation target that can be selected by the user.
An electroluminescent device 505 may be included to provide a backlighting function to the shutters of the optical shutter assembly 504. As used herein, “electroluminescent” refers to any device capable of producing luminescence electrically, including light emitting diodes, and equivalent devices. Such a function is useful in improving the visibility of the keypad region in low-light conditions. In one embodiment, the electroluminescent device 505 includes a layer of backlight material sandwiched between a transparent substrate bearing transparent electrodes on the top and bottom. The electrodes, which may be segmented and patterned to correspond with the shutters of the optical shutter assembly 504. One electrode is an actuation electrode, while another electrode is a ground electrode. Where the electrodes are segmented, the actuation electrode is generally patterned. A reflector, integrated into the back of the electroluminescent device 505 allows incident light to be reflected back through the display, even when the electroluminescent elements are active.
The high-resolution display 509, which may have its own lighting system and may also include a polarizing layer 515 configured to polarize light along an axis of polarization, may be placed adjacent to the electroluminescent device 505. Further, filler material 510 may be included to complete the assembly.
The resistive switch layer 506 includes a force switch array configured to detect contact with any of one of the shutters dynamic keypad region or any of the plurality of actuation targets. An “array” as used herein refers to a set of at least one switch. For instance, where the cover layer 502 is manufactured from glass, one switch may be all that is necessary. However, when the cover layer 502 is manufactured from thin film plastic, multiple switches may be employed. The array of resistive switches functions as a force-sensing layer, in that when contact is made with the front surface, changes in impedance of any of the switches may be detected. The array of switches may be any of resistance sensing switches, membrane switches, force-sensing switches such as piezoelectric switches, or other equivalent types of technology.
When the cover layer 502 is made from thin plastic film, an array of switches may be included on the resistive switch layer to detect the proximate location of a finger actuating one of the keys. Experimental results have shown that a deflection of as little as 40 um along the cover layer is sufficient to actuate one of the resistive switches. When the cover layer 502 is made from glass, the capacitive sensor 200 may be used to detect the proximate location, while one or more switches on the resistive switch layer 506 may be used to detect actuation of the rigid cover layer 502. By employing control circuitry to combine this data, the exact shutter, region, and/or target actuated may be properly detected.
A substrate layer 507 is provided to carry the various conduits to control circuits and drivers for the layers of the display. The substrate layer 507, which may be either a rigid layer such as FR4 printed wiring board or a flexible layer such as copper traces printed on a flexible material such as KaptonŽ, includes electrical connections to components, integrated circuits, processors, and associated circuitry to control the operation of the display. The substrate layer 507 includes a connector 514 for coupling to the detector and other electrical components within the electronic device.
As noted in the discussion of the resistive switch layer 506 above, in one embodiment a modicum of deflection is all that is required to actuate one of the keys presented by the optical shutter assembly 504. Where the cover layer 402 is manufactured from thin film plastic, a minor deflection of the plastic will actuate a switch on the resistive switch layer 506. Where the cover layer 502 is manufactured from glass, a minor deflection of the entire cover layer 502 will actuate a switch on the resistive switch layer 506. This deflection is on the order of tens of micrometers. As such, a user may not perceive any deflection at all when pressing each key.
To provide tactile feedback, an optional tactile feedback layer 508 may be included. The tactile feedback layer 508 may include a transducer configured to provide a sensory feedback when a switch on the resistive switch layer detects actuation of a key. In one embodiment, the transducer is a piezoelectric transducer configured to apply a mechanical “pop” to the user interface 500 that is strong enough to be detected by the user. Thus, the tactile feedback layer provides sensory feedback to the user, thereby making the smooth, substantially planar user interface 500 react more like a conventional keypad without the need of individual popple-enabled keys protruding through the keypad.
Turning now to
Note that the layers may be coupled together in any of a variety of ways. One exemplary embodiment of a coupling mechanism is by using a thin layer of clear (transparent), non-conductive adhesive. For instance, the cover layer 502, the capacitive sensor 200, and the optical shutter assembly 504 may each be mechanically coupled together with non-conductive, translucent adhesive. This coupling keeps the overall assembly properly aligned within the device.
When viewing from the top, a user first sees the cover layer 502, which may be either a thin film plastic or glass layer. Where glass is used, reinforced glass is often preferred to provide additional reliability to the user interface (500). The glass may be reinforced by a strengthening process, such as a chemical or heat treatment process. As noted above, the cover layer may include printing disposed thereon.
Next, the capacitive sensor 200 may be seen. The capacitive sensor 200 includes both the capacitive sensor material 201 and substrate layer 101. As noted above, the substrate layer 101, which may be either rigid, or soft (for instance a silicone layer), carries the electrode plates that form the capacitive sensors. The electrodes may be used in a singular configuration, or in pairs. Further alternate electrode pairs, including electrode groupings of two, four, or six electrodes, may be used to form the capacitive sensors. The at least one graphic (401) is also included.
Next, the optical shutter assembly 504 may be seen. In one embodiment, the segmented electro-optical device of the optical shutter assembly 504 is manufactured using a twisted nematic liquid crystal display material. Other materials, including polymer-dispersed liquid crystal material, super twisted nematic liquid crystal material, ferro-electric liquid crystal material, electrically-controlled birefringent material, optically-compensated bend mode material, guest-host materials, and other types of light modulating may equally be used.
The optical shutter assembly 504 includes twisted nematic liquid crystal display material 603 that is sandwiched between two electrodes 604,605 and two substrates 606,607. The electrodes 604,605 and substrates 606,607 are preferably transparent, such that light can pass freely through each. The substrates 606,607 may be manufactured from either plastic or glass. The upper electrode 604 is constructed, in one embodiment using indium-tin oxide affixed to substrate 606. The lower electrode 605 is constructed using a patterned indium-tin oxide layer affixed to the lower substrate 607. In one embodiment, the patterns are those of alphanumeric keys or symbols representing keys or user actuation targets of the device. Where it suits the particular design or application, both electrodes 604,605 can be patterned; however, user visibility may be affected where both electrodes 604,605 are patterned. The patterned electrode(s) 605, by way of patterned electrical traces, is connected to a control circuit 608, which may also connect to the capacitive sensor 200. The control circuit 608 applies a field to the patterned electrode(s) 305, while the other electrode 304 acts as a ground.
The electric field applied alters the light transmission properties of the twisted nematic liquid crystal display material 603. The electric field can cause sections under each of the patterned electrodes 605 to transition from a first state to a second state. By way of example, the first state may be opaque, while the second state is translucent. The patterns of the patterned electrodes 605 define the images of each shutter in the optical shutter. By way of example, a shutter can be patterned as a “9 key” for a phone by patterning one electrode as a box (i.e. the boundary of the key), and another electrode as the “9 wxyz” characters. The shutters thus act as “windows” that can be open or closed, to reveal or hide images.
The optical shutter assembly 504 also includes multiple polarizing layers disposed atop and beneath the optical shutter. These polarizing layers polarize light along a polarization axis and provide a predetermined color to the overall display assembly.
In some embodiments, there may be a need for additional graphics presentation capabilities above and beyond that provided by the capacitive sensor layer. In such embodiments, a liquid crystal display may be disposed between the capacitive sensor 200 and the optical shutter assembly 504. The liquid crystal display is used to present graphics through the capacitive sensor 200 to the user.
The electroluminescent device 505 includes a layer of electroluminescent material 609 sandwiched between a transparent substrate 610 bearing a single, or patterned, indium tin oxide electrode(s) 611 and a ground electrode 612. In one embodiment, the patterned electrode 611 of the electroluminescent device 505 is aligned with the various shutters of the optical shutter assembly 504. In such an embodiment, the ground electrode 612 may comprise a solid conductive ink layer printed on the bottom surface of the electroluminescent material 609. This solid conductive ink layer may have reflective properties. Alternatively, the electroluminescent device 505 may have a reflective layer integrated beneath the ground electrode 612. Also, the ground electrode 612 may be patterned and may be borne on a reflective substrate if desired. One electrode layer 601 is connected to control circuit 608.
In one embodiment, the high-resolution display 509 is disposed at least partially under the optical shutter assembly 254. In such an embodiment, the optical shutter assembly 504 passes across the high-resolution display 509, thereby covering at least a portion of the high-resolution display 509. Thus, when a shutter above the high-resolution display 509 closes, the high-resolution display 509 is completely hidden. This action gives the overall device a “blank” face when the electronic device is OFF. Beneath the electroluminescent device 505 are the resistive switch layer 506, the substrate layer 507, and the tactile feedback layer 508 with its transducer 615.
Turning now to
A first polarizer 701 is disposed on one side of the device to polarize incident light. A substrate 606, having indium tin oxide electrodes (as previously discussed) printed in varying shapes is disposed adjacent to the polarizer. The electrodes may be disposed in shapes that correspond to the alphanumeric keys or symbols associated with the keys of the electronic device.
Twisted nematic liquid crystal display material 603 is then next, followed by another substrate 607 configured with ground electrodes. A horizontal filter 702 then is used to permit and block light. A reflective or transflective surface 703 may optionally be used to reflect light back (in a reflective mode), or to transmit light in a transflective mode.
When no voltage is applied to the electrodes, the device is in a first state. When voltage is applied the liquid crystal material twists—in incremental amounts up to 90 degrees—thereby changing the luminous polarization. This liquid crystal thus acts as a controllable polarizer, controlled by electrical signals applied to the electrodes. Adjustment of the voltage being applied to the electrodes permits varying levels grey, as well as transparent states or opaque states to be created. Embodiments of the present invention use this device as a low-resolution display to reveal and hide keys.
Turning now to
Turning now to
Turning now to
At step 1103, if needed, both the layer of semi-transparent, electrically conductive material and the layer of electrically conductive material may be etched, thereby yielding or forming a predetermined electrode pattern. While both the layer of semi-transparent, electrically conductive material and the layer of electrically conductive material will be etched, the visible graphic indicia will still be legible so long as the spacing between the electrodes is sufficiently small.
In the foregoing specification, specific embodiments of the present invention have been described. However, one of ordinary skill in the art appreciates that various modifications and changes can be made without departing from the scope of the present invention as set forth in the claims below. Thus, while preferred embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it is clear that the invention is not so limited. Numerous modifications, changes, variations, substitutions, and equivalents will occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the following claims. Accordingly, the specification and figures are to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense, and all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of present invention.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3915548||Nov 29, 1974||Oct 28, 1975||Hughes Aircraft Co||Holographic lens and liquid crystal image source for head-up display|
|US4017848||May 19, 1975||Apr 12, 1977||Rockwell International Corporation||Transparent keyboard switch and array|
|US4078257||Aug 23, 1976||Mar 7, 1978||Hewlett-Packard Company||Calculator apparatus with electronically alterable key symbols|
|US4422721||Aug 9, 1982||Dec 27, 1983||Optical Coating Laboratory, Inc.||Optical article having a conductive anti-reflection coating|
|US4462924||Sep 10, 1982||Jul 31, 1984||The Secretary Of State In Her Britannic Majesty's Government Of The United Kingdom Of Great Britain And Northern Ireland||Liquid crystal materials and devices|
|US4500173||May 2, 1983||Feb 19, 1985||Timex Corporation||Electroluminescent lamp for liquid crystal display|
|US4545648||Oct 30, 1980||Oct 8, 1985||Polaroid Corporation||Nacreous transflector illumination system for liquid crystal display|
|US4728936||Apr 11, 1986||Mar 1, 1988||Adt, Inc.||Control and display system|
|US4893903||Apr 28, 1986||Jan 16, 1990||Taliq Corporation||Flashing advisory sign|
|US5121234||Oct 29, 1990||Jun 9, 1992||Honeywell Incorporated||Dichroic liquid crystal display with integral electroluminescent backlighting|
|US5225818||Nov 26, 1990||Jul 6, 1993||Data Entry Products, Incorporated||Data entry control panel|
|US5231381||Oct 1, 1990||Jul 27, 1993||U.S. Philips Corp.||Data processing system with a touch screen and a digitizing tablet, both integrated in an input device|
|US5376948||Apr 22, 1994||Dec 27, 1994||Visage, Inc.||Method of and apparatus for touch-input computer and related display employing touch force location external to the display|
|US5600459||Dec 20, 1993||Feb 4, 1997||Roy; Howard S.||Multiple-shutter flat-panel display having individually controlled pixels and method for making same|
|US5796454||Dec 4, 1996||Aug 18, 1998||Advanced Display Systems, Inc.||Cholesteric liquid crystal display employing circular polarizer and methods of operation and manufacture therefor|
|US5818615||May 26, 1995||Oct 6, 1998||Ois Optical Imaging Systems, Inc.||Liquid crystal display with patterned retardation films|
|US6047196||May 29, 1996||Apr 4, 2000||Nokia Mobile Phones, Ltd.||Communication device with two modes of operation|
|US6058164||Oct 31, 1995||May 2, 2000||Fujitsu Limited||Mode-switchable telephone and mode setting and switching methods for the same|
|US6103384||Feb 16, 1999||Aug 15, 2000||Mario; Spinelli||Process for the superficial decoration of objects made of transparent vitreous material|
|US6144359||Mar 30, 1998||Nov 7, 2000||Rockwell Science Center||Liquid crystal displays utilizing polymer dispersed liquid crystal devices for enhanced performance and reduced power|
|US6150962||Jun 14, 1999||Nov 21, 2000||Phone.Com, Inc.||Predictive data entry method for a keyboard|
|US6188379||Nov 4, 1997||Feb 13, 2001||Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.||Color display system and method of driving the same|
|US6211931||Jan 27, 1999||Apr 3, 2001||Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.||Polymer-dispersed liquid crystal composition and liquid crystal display elements using the composition|
|US6243080||Jul 14, 1998||Jun 5, 2001||Ericsson Inc.||Touch-sensitive panel with selector|
|US6271835||Sep 3, 1998||Aug 7, 2001||Nortel Networks Limited||Touch-screen input device|
|US6310609||Apr 17, 1997||Oct 30, 2001||Nokia Mobile Phones Limited||User interface with guide lights|
|US6325424||Jan 12, 1999||Dec 4, 2001||The Lamson & Sessions Co.||Coupling assembly having enhanced axial tension strength|
|US6327376||Dec 3, 1998||Dec 4, 2001||U.S. Philips Corporation||Electronic apparatus comprising fingerprint sensing devices|
|US6470196||Oct 8, 1999||Oct 22, 2002||Nec Corporation||Portable communication apparatus|
|US6574044||Oct 25, 1999||Jun 3, 2003||3M Innovative Properties Company||Polarizer constructions and display devices exhibiting unique color effects|
|US6574487||Feb 23, 2000||Jun 3, 2003||Motorola, Inc.||Communication device with a dual-sided liquid crystal display|
|US6646697||Jul 21, 1998||Nov 11, 2003||Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.||Liquid crystal display|
|US6662244||Jul 31, 2000||Dec 9, 2003||Sony Corporation||Information terminal|
|US6704004||Aug 17, 2000||Mar 9, 2004||Nokia Mobile Phones Ltd.||Arrangement for integration of key illumination into keymat of portable electronic devices|
|US6768481||Jul 22, 2002||Jul 27, 2004||Seiko Epson Corporation||Display device and electronic equipment employing the same|
|US6768586||Mar 26, 2003||Jul 27, 2004||3M Innovative Properties Company||Polarizer constructions and display devices exhibiting unique color effects|
|US6813957||Nov 27, 2000||Nov 9, 2004||Karl-Otto Platz||Capacitive sensor on a transparent carrier|
|US6819316 *||Apr 17, 2001||Nov 16, 2004||3M Innovative Properties Company||Flexible capacitive touch sensor|
|US6819380||Jun 11, 2003||Nov 16, 2004||Toppoly Optoelectronics Corp.||Double-sided LCD panel|
|US6842170||Mar 17, 1999||Jan 11, 2005||Motorola, Inc.||Display with aligned optical shutter and backlight cells applicable for use with a touchscreen|
|US6914874 *||Oct 28, 2003||Jul 5, 2005||Jvc Victor Company Of Japan, Ltd.||Disklike recording media, a method for detecting forged disks, an anti-forgery system for performing a true-false judgement based on information collected from the recording media, and a manufacturing apparatus for recording information in the disks|
|US6968744 *||Oct 18, 2004||Nov 29, 2005||Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd||Capacitative pressure sensor with close electrodes|
|US7106517||Dec 31, 2003||Sep 12, 2006||General Electric Company||Display optical films|
|US7123945||Nov 22, 2002||Oct 17, 2006||Sony Corporation||Task display switching method, portable apparatus and portable communications apparatus|
|US7127705||Sep 5, 2001||Oct 24, 2006||Oracle International Corporation||Developing applications online|
|US7139114||Dec 20, 2004||Nov 21, 2006||Xerox Corporation||Bisymmetrical electric paper and a system therefor|
|US7180672||Dec 23, 2004||Feb 20, 2007||General Electric Company||Optical substrate and method of making|
|US7191150||Jun 30, 2000||Mar 13, 2007||Fair Isaac Corporation||Enhancing delinquent debt collection using statistical models of debt historical information and account events|
|US7345671||Sep 26, 2002||Mar 18, 2008||Apple Inc.||Method and apparatus for use of rotational user inputs|
|US20020090980||Dec 5, 2001||Jul 11, 2002||Wilcox Russell J.||Displays for portable electronic apparatus|
|US20020123946||Mar 1, 2001||Sep 5, 2002||James Haworth||Methods and systems for providing debt recovery partnership|
|US20020123962||Mar 2, 2001||Sep 5, 2002||Bryman Evan L.||System and method for providing a reaffirmation credit card including an increasing credit limit|
|US20030020999||Apr 2, 2002||Jan 30, 2003||International Business Machines Corporation||Electronic apparatus and electronic apparatus information display method|
|US20030025679||Jun 6, 2002||Feb 6, 2003||Cirque Corporation||System for disposing a proximity sensitive touchpad behind a mobile phone keypad|
|US20030054867||Sep 6, 2002||Mar 20, 2003||Homayoun Dowlat||Method and apparatus for alerting users of incoming calls and messages|
|US20030058223||Jan 23, 2002||Mar 27, 2003||Tracy James L.||Adaptable keypad and button mechanism therefor|
|US20040036680||May 30, 2003||Feb 26, 2004||Mark Davis||User-interface features for computers with contact-sensitive displays|
|US20040058718||Aug 21, 2003||Mar 25, 2004||Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.||Method for giving notice of an incoming call in a mobile communication terminal|
|US20040073504||Oct 10, 2002||Apr 15, 2004||Capital One Financial Corporation||Systems and methods for increasing recovery rates on delinquent financial accounts|
|US20040104826||Oct 30, 2003||Jun 3, 2004||Harald Philipp||Charge transfer capacitive position sensor|
|US20040189591||Mar 27, 2003||Sep 30, 2004||Breuil Thomas L. Du||Method and apparatus for a programmable electrophoretic remote control|
|US20040218121||May 1, 2003||Nov 4, 2004||Zhiming Zhuang||Transflective color liquid crystal display with internal rear polarizer|
|US20040246580||Jun 30, 2004||Dec 9, 2004||3M Innovative Properties Company||Polarizer constructions and display devices exhibiting unique color effects|
|US20040265602 *||Oct 7, 2002||Dec 30, 2004||Taichi Kobayashi||Transparent electroconductive film, method for manufacture thereof, and touch panel|
|US20050007339||Jun 10, 2004||Jan 13, 2005||Tadamitsu Sato||Inputting method and input device|
|US20050020316||Jul 25, 2003||Jan 27, 2005||Hassan Mahini||Event list menu for accessing menu items in a hierarchical menu|
|US20050020325||Jul 24, 2003||Jan 27, 2005||Motorola, Inc.||Multi-configuration portable electronic device and method for operating the same|
|US20050030048||Aug 5, 2003||Feb 10, 2005||Bolender Robert J.||Capacitive sensing device for use in a keypad assembly|
|US20050030292||Nov 20, 2002||Feb 10, 2005||Diederiks Elmo Marcus Attila||Display system with tactile guidance|
|US20050064913||Aug 13, 2004||Mar 24, 2005||Kim Byung-Jin||Incoming call alerting method and mobile communication terminal using the same|
|US20050088417||Oct 24, 2003||Apr 28, 2005||Mulligan Roger C.||Tactile touch-sensing system|
|US20050093767||Oct 28, 2004||May 5, 2005||Ritdisplay Corporation||Dual display device|
|US20050114825||Nov 24, 2003||May 26, 2005||International Business Machines Corporation||Laptop computer including a touch-sensitive display and method of driving the laptop computer|
|US20050134549||Sep 17, 2004||Jun 23, 2005||Citizen Watch Co.,Ltd.||Display Apparatus|
|US20050171901||Feb 3, 2004||Aug 4, 2005||Capital One Financial Corporation.||Methods and systems for offering a credit card account to a potential home buyer|
|US20050243069||Apr 30, 2004||Nov 3, 2005||Rudy Yorio||Display-input apparatus for a multi-configuration portable device|
|US20050264190||May 9, 2005||Dec 1, 2005||Park Young-Jong||Double-sided organic electroluminescent display having optical shutter and information terminal using the same|
|US20050266891||Mar 9, 2004||Dec 1, 2005||Mullen Jeffrey D||Systems and methods for providing remote incoming call notification for cellular phones|
|US20060026535||Jan 18, 2005||Feb 2, 2006||Apple Computer Inc.||Mode-based graphical user interfaces for touch sensitive input devices|
|US20060038937||Aug 11, 2005||Feb 23, 2006||Seiko Epson Corporation||Electro-optical device, method of manufacturing the same, and electronic apparatus|
|US20060046792||Aug 31, 2004||Mar 2, 2006||Hassemer Brian J||Hinge apparatus and methods therefor|
|US20060080236||Sep 7, 2004||Apr 13, 2006||Welker Daniel J||Method and system for debt recovery|
|US20060146012||Jan 4, 2005||Jul 6, 2006||Arneson Theodore R||System and method for automatic display switching|
|US20060161870||Sep 30, 2005||Jul 20, 2006||Apple Computer, Inc.||Proximity detector in handheld device|
|US20060161871||Sep 30, 2005||Jul 20, 2006||Apple Computer, Inc.||Proximity detector in handheld device|
|US20060166702||Jan 24, 2005||Jul 27, 2006||Dietz Paul H||Cellular telephone with ear proximity display and lighting control|
|US20060197753||Mar 3, 2006||Sep 7, 2006||Hotelling Steven P||Multi-functional hand-held device|
|US20060266640 *||May 25, 2006||Nov 30, 2006||Halsey Eugene L Iv||Capacitive touch screen and method of making same|
|US20060277472||Apr 28, 2006||Dec 7, 2006||Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.||Screen display program, computer readable recording medium recorded with screen display program, screen display apparatus, portable terminal apparatus, and screen display method|
|US20060277478||Jun 2, 2005||Dec 7, 2006||Microsoft Corporation||Temporary title and menu bar|
|US20060290871||Jun 14, 2006||Dec 28, 2006||Sanyo Epson Imaging Devices Corp.||Electro-optical device, method of manufacturing the same, and electronic apparatus|
|US20070030438||Nov 10, 2005||Feb 8, 2007||Min-Feng Chiang||Arrangement of photo spacer material|
|US20070052689||Sep 5, 2006||Mar 8, 2007||Lg Electronics Inc.||Mobile communication terminal having content data scrolling capability and method for scrolling through content data|
|US20070075965||Oct 24, 2006||Apr 5, 2007||Brian Huppi||Automated response to and sensing of user activity in portable devices|
|US20070097595||Sep 8, 2005||May 3, 2007||Nokia Corporation||Multipurpose programmable adjustable keyboard (MPAK)|
|US20070152983||Nov 1, 2006||Jul 5, 2007||Apple Computer, Inc.||Touch pad with symbols based on mode|
|US20070164986||Sep 20, 2006||Jul 19, 2007||Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.||Interface apparatus and method using electronic paper|
|US20070273662||Dec 20, 2006||Nov 29, 2007||Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.||Display apparatus and display method for a portable device|
|US20080122796||Sep 5, 2007||May 29, 2008||Jobs Steven P||Touch Screen Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for Determining Commands by Applying Heuristics|
|US20080169944||Jan 15, 2007||Jul 17, 2008||Cisco Technology, Inc.||Dynamic Number Keypad for Networked Phones|
|US20080204417 *||Mar 9, 2007||Aug 28, 2008||Pierce Paul M||Multimodal Adaptive User Interface for a Portable Electronic Device|
|US20080211734||Jun 13, 2006||Sep 4, 2008||Koninklijke Philips Electronics, N.V.||Combined Single/Multiple View-Display|
|US20080309589 *||Jun 13, 2007||Dec 18, 2008||Morales Joseph M||Segmented Electroluminescent Device for Morphing User Interface|
|EP1341029A2||Apr 29, 2002||Sep 3, 2003||Fossil, Inc.||Improved time piece|
|EP1467536A1||May 8, 2003||Oct 13, 2004||Siemens Aktiengesellschaft||Device for state-dependently adjusting the appearance of the cover of a portable electronic device, and cover therefore|
|GB2348039A||Title not available|
|GB2359178B||Title not available|
|JP2005352987A||Title not available|
|JP2006091486A||Title not available|
|JP2006243658A||Title not available|
|KR100652767B1||Title not available|
|WO2006116145A2||Apr 20, 2006||Nov 2, 2006||Microsoft Corp||Auto-suggest lists and handwritten input|
|WO2006123294A2||May 16, 2006||Nov 23, 2006||Koninkl Philips Electronics Nv||Apparatus and method to enhance navigation in a user interface for mobile devices|
|WO2007063809A1||Nov 27, 2006||Jun 7, 2007||Fujifilm Corp||Substrate for liquid crystal display device, liquid crystal display element, and liquid crystal display device|
|1||Edwards, Carolyn R., "First Office Action", First inventor: Paul Pierce, filed Aug. 9, 2007 U.S. Appl. No. 11/836,616 Mail date: Nov. 23, 2010.|
|2||Hegarty, Kelly "Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/762,481, filed Jun. 13, 2007, Joseph M. Morales, first inventor, Mailed Oct. 13, 2010.|
|3||Hegarty, Kelly B., "Non-Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/762,481, filed Jun. 13, 2007, Joseph M. Morales, inventor, Mailed May 14, 2010.|
|4||Joseph, Dennis "Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/679,233, filed Feb. 27, 2007, Adam Cybart et al., inventors, Mailed Apr. 29, 2010.|
|5||Joseph, Dennis P., "Non-Final Office Action Mailed Nov. 13, 2009", U.S. Appl. No. 11/679,233, filed Feb. 27, 2007, First Inventor Adam Cybart.|
|6||Joseph, Dennis P., et al., "Non-Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/679,233, filed Feb. 27, 2007 First Inventor: Adam Cybart Mailed: Feb. 2, 2011.|
|7||Marinelli, Patrick "Non-Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/836,973, filed Aug. 10, 2007, Pual M. Pierce, first inventor, Mailed Aug. 17, 2010.|
|8||Moorad, Waseem "Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/751,175, filed May 21, 2010, Mailed Dec. 9, 2010.|
|9||Moorad, Waseem "Non-Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/751,175, filed May 21, 2007, David S. Brenner, inventor, Mailed May 19, 2010.|
|10||Schneider, Michael "PCT Search Report and Opinion", Date of search: May 3, 2010 Date mailed: May 11, 2010 Filed: 08728978.1-2224/2115555.|
|11||Schnirel, Andrew "Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/679,228, filed Feb. 27, 2007, Adam Cybart, first inventor, Mailed Oct. 28, 2010.|
|12||Schnirel, Andrew B., "Non-Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/679,228, filed Feb. 27, 2007, Adam Cybart, inventor, Mailed Mar. 10, 2010.|
|13||Sitta, Grant " Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/741,877, filed Apr. 30, 2010, XiaoPing Bai first inventor, Mailed Jun. 2, 2010.|
|14||Sony Operation Guide, Publication Date Unknown.|
|15||Tsvey, Gennadiy "Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/684,454, filed Mar. 9, 2007, Paul M. Pierce, first inventor, Mailed May 28, 2010.|
|16||Tsvey, Gennadiy "Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/684,476, filed Mar. 9, 2007, Paul M. Pierce, inventor, Mailed May 25, 2010.|
|17||Tsvey, Gennadiy "Non-Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/684,454, mailed Nov. 9, 2009.|
|18||Tsvey, Gennadiy "Non-Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/684,476, mailed Oct. 9, 2009.|
|19||United States Patent and Trademark Office, "Non-Final Office Action Summary", May 5, 2011, pp. 1-15, U.S. Appl. No. 11/762,481.|
|20||Walthall, Allison N., "Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/766,921, filed Jun. 22, 2007, Robert D. Polak, inventor, Mailed May 18, 2010.|
|21||Walthall, Allison N., "Non-Final Office Action", U.S. Appl. No. 11/766,921, filed Jun. 22, 2007, Mailed Jan. 27, 2010.|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8456438||Mar 12, 2012||Jun 4, 2013||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface system|
|US8547339||Jan 4, 2008||Oct 1, 2013||Tactus Technology, Inc.||System and methods for raised touch screens|
|US8553005||Mar 7, 2012||Oct 8, 2013||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface system|
|US8570295||Mar 7, 2012||Oct 29, 2013||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface system|
|US8587541||Apr 19, 2011||Nov 19, 2013||Tactus Technology, Inc.||Method for actuating a tactile interface layer|
|US8587548||May 7, 2012||Nov 19, 2013||Tactus Technology, Inc.||Method for adjusting the user interface of a device|
|US8619035||Feb 9, 2011||Dec 31, 2013||Tactus Technology, Inc.||Method for assisting user input to a device|
|US8704790||Oct 20, 2011||Apr 22, 2014||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface system|
|US8717326||Aug 29, 2013||May 6, 2014||Tactus Technology, Inc.||System and methods for raised touch screens|
|US8723832||Oct 15, 2013||May 13, 2014||Tactus Technology, Inc.||Method for actuating a tactile interface layer|
|US8796575||Oct 31, 2012||Aug 5, 2014||Ford Global Technologies, Llc||Proximity switch assembly having ground layer|
|US8878438||Nov 4, 2011||Nov 4, 2014||Ford Global Technologies, Llc||Lamp and proximity switch assembly and method|
|US8922340||Sep 11, 2012||Dec 30, 2014||Ford Global Technologies, Llc||Proximity switch based door latch release|
|US8922502||Dec 21, 2010||Dec 30, 2014||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface system|
|US8922503||Dec 21, 2010||Dec 30, 2014||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface system|
|US8922510||May 25, 2012||Dec 30, 2014||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface system|
|US8928336||Jun 9, 2011||Jan 6, 2015||Ford Global Technologies, Llc||Proximity switch having sensitivity control and method therefor|
|US8928621||Oct 20, 2011||Jan 6, 2015||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface system and method|
|US8933708||Apr 11, 2012||Jan 13, 2015||Ford Global Technologies, Llc||Proximity switch assembly and activation method with exploration mode|
|US8941395 *||Apr 27, 2010||Jan 27, 2015||3M Innovative Properties Company||Integrated passive circuit elements for sensing devices|
|US8947383||Apr 25, 2012||Feb 3, 2015||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface system and method|
|US8970403||Apr 19, 2011||Mar 3, 2015||Tactus Technology, Inc.||Method for actuating a tactile interface layer|
|US8975903||Jun 9, 2011||Mar 10, 2015||Ford Global Technologies, Llc||Proximity switch having learned sensitivity and method therefor|
|US8981602||May 29, 2012||Mar 17, 2015||Ford Global Technologies, Llc||Proximity switch assembly having non-switch contact and method|
|US8994228||Nov 3, 2011||Mar 31, 2015||Ford Global Technologies, Llc||Proximity switch having wrong touch feedback|
|US9013417||Apr 19, 2011||Apr 21, 2015||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface system|
|US9019228||Mar 4, 2014||Apr 28, 2015||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface system|
|US9035898||Apr 1, 2014||May 19, 2015||Tactus Technology, Inc.||System and methods for raised touch screens|
|US9052790||May 16, 2013||Jun 9, 2015||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface and methods|
|US9063627||May 16, 2013||Jun 23, 2015||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface and methods|
|US9065447||Apr 11, 2012||Jun 23, 2015||Ford Global Technologies, Llc||Proximity switch assembly and method having adaptive time delay|
|US9075525||Apr 25, 2012||Jul 7, 2015||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface system|
|US9098141||May 6, 2013||Aug 4, 2015||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface system|
|US9116617||May 7, 2012||Aug 25, 2015||Tactus Technology, Inc.||User interface enhancement system|
|US9136840||May 17, 2012||Sep 15, 2015||Ford Global Technologies, Llc||Proximity switch assembly having dynamic tuned threshold|
|US9143126||Sep 22, 2011||Sep 22, 2015||Ford Global Technologies, Llc||Proximity switch having lockout control for controlling movable panel|
|US9184745||Apr 11, 2012||Nov 10, 2015||Ford Global Technologies, Llc||Proximity switch assembly and method of sensing user input based on signal rate of change|
|US20110260741 *||Apr 27, 2010||Oct 27, 2011||3M Innovative Properties Company||Integrated passive circuit elements for sensing devices|
|U.S. Classification||345/173, 73/780|
|International Classification||G01B7/16, G06F3/041|
|Aug 13, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MOTOROLA, INC., ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:EMIG, DAVID M., MR.;FOO, KEN K., MR.;REEL/FRAME:019687/0058
Effective date: 20070813
|Dec 13, 2010||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MOTOROLA MOBILITY, INC, ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MOTOROLA, INC;REEL/FRAME:025673/0558
Effective date: 20100731
|Oct 2, 2012||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MOTOROLA MOBILITY LLC, ILLINOIS
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:MOTOROLA MOBILITY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:029216/0282
Effective date: 20120622
|Nov 25, 2014||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: GOOGLE TECHNOLOGY HOLDINGS LLC, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MOTOROLA MOBILITY LLC;REEL/FRAME:034451/0001
Effective date: 20141028
|Jun 15, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4